Written by Bob McElwain

We know that something like 80% of visitors will abandon our sites without finishingrepparttar headline. And we know that "What's in this for me?" isrepparttar 134824 question every visitor asks immediately. We know we must demonstrate there is something here that matters. And we must do so quickly. Within seconds.

Suppose you have worked at this. And suppose you have this right, or at least close. What next?

Show Them The Good Stuff

The next step is to quickly reveal what is available onrepparttar 134825 site and why each segment matters. There must be a promise of complete information, and this promise must be kept. A page of banners, by contrast, will never work.

The Contrary View In Place

For some time now I've wanted to get into a hobby-type thing to give my days a better balance. I tend to just keep working, unless I build in alternate fun things of some kind or another.

Then it hit me. I love growing stuff. But where I live, this means a greenhouse to keep outrepparttar 134826 gophers, rabbits and especiallyrepparttar 134827 deer. So I went surfing, something I seldom do.

Thoroughly excited withrepparttar 134828 idea, I fired uprepparttar 134829 computer, went to AltaVista, and entered, "hot house" + plants. Notrepparttar 134830 best starting place, but hey, I was seriously surfing for something I had never before tried to find onrepparttar 134831 Web. A glance atrepparttar 134832 first 10 listings showed I hadrepparttar 134833 wrong key word. The fourth item caught my attention.

"Your #1 Stop for old fashion Cottage Plants,repparttar 134834 once your Grandmother used to grwow."

An Odd Happening

I'm by nature a thoughtful, somewhat introspective fellow. So I was taken by surprise byrepparttar 134835 feelings that washed over me in looking atrepparttar 134836 above listing. "Whorepparttar 134837 heck is this joker? Two misused words inrepparttar 134838 site description that a spell checker can't find. Maybe "grwow" is a word, but I don't recognize it. Does this clown know anything? Am I really expected to click on this nonsense?"

Noterepparttar 134839 lack of reason in my response. Which was frustration that converted to anger so quickly I did not noticerepparttar 134840 change. "Whorepparttar 134841 heck are you, wasting my time like this?" I muttered out loud. And instead of thinking things over, which is my usual mode, I plunged on with an aggressive demanding attitude I don't recall ever having before.

Next Stop: Greenhouse

Mostly greenhouse effects regardsrepparttar 134842 planet. Of no interest at all. (Well, sure. Critical stuff. But not just then.) So I tried greenhouses (plural). Better. So AltaVista seesrepparttar 134843 plural as different fromrepparttar 134844 singular. I decided to try to remember that, but knew I wouldn't.

A furious scan of descriptions followed. I clicked on those that seemed promising. On every third one I hitrepparttar 134845 back button, forrepparttar 134846 site didn't seem to want to load.

Site after site was lovely. Virtually all were catalog operations. Lots of pictures with options for bigger ones. And lots of "Add To Cart" buttons. But little information about much of anything. I'm going to spend $500 to $5000 based on a picture? Has everybody lost their mind?

Shutting Down

I was surprised when I glanced atrepparttar 134847 clock. I had "visited" over 50 sites in less than 45 minutes. This may berepparttar 134848 essence of surfing to many. Frankly, it'srepparttar 134849 first time I recall "attacking" a topic in such fashion.

Some sites offered gardening tips. None appeared to feature great content or solid information that would help me make a practical decision. I saw no mention ofrepparttar 134850 need for heating and cooling. I guess these ups and extras are meant to come as a surprise. And I did not find mention of how well their stuff can handle two feet of snow, which I get routinely here inrepparttar 134851 foothills ofrepparttar 134852 Sierra Nevadas.


Written by Bob McElwain

Picture a pink elephant dancingrepparttar two-step in a bright blue skirt. Got it? Are you sure? If not, reread this paragraph.

If you really have it, you won't be able to forget it if asked to do so. Pictures in our minds are simply too powerful to be erased on command.

We Think In Pictures

If I ask you what you had for breakfast, you'll bring up a memory of your plate, then tell me what you ate as you "watch" yourself doing so. While some think inrepparttar 134823 abstract, just sort of rattle off a list, most of us will picture ourselves eating breakfast, then hold that image long enough to answerrepparttar 134824 question.

If I ask what you did last summer vacation, and you had a great, fun-filled time, you may become so overwhelmed with pictures, you kind of shrug, maybe grin, then say something inane like, "I had a real good time."

But if I can get you to talking about that vacation,repparttar 134825 pictures will roll out in front of you one by one, and you'll describe them in grand detail. Swimming inrepparttar 134826 ice cold stream. How that sudden thunder shower forced you to dash for cover. Aboutrepparttar 134827 campfires, andrepparttar 134828 very long tales shared overrepparttar 134829 coals. And that bear. That for sure is something you'll remember!

Now if I ask what your three favorite websites are, what's going to happen? Are you likely to rattle offrepparttar 134830 URLs? Or will you first rememberrepparttar 134831 image ofrepparttar 134832 site, then maybe plug in that URL? For most, it'srepparttar 134833 latter. Because we think, and remember, in pictures.

The Image Of Your Website Must Be Memorable

Torepparttar 134834 degree possible, you wantrepparttar 134835 image of your site to remain as clear in your visitor's mind as that ice cold stream, that sudden thunder shower,repparttar 134836 campfires, and that bear.

Three elements need to be blended with preciselyrepparttar 134837 proper mix to make this happen.

1) The headline and subheadings must bring a quick answer to your visitor's question: What's in this for me? And, of course, they must demonstrate, almost in a glance, that there is in fact something here of great value to them. Torepparttar 134838 degree these collective elements create a positive mental image of your offer, they contribute powerfully to your site.

2) The body copy under each subheading must also draw a great picture. In this case, a "picture" of benefits torepparttar 134839 visitor. Seek to create an image for your visitor in which he or she can see themselves enjoying this benefit.

3) The art work is secondary torepparttar 134840 above, but absolutely critical. All must enhancerepparttar 134841 presentation, but in a quiet, non-intrusive manner. Bold images fail because they have a thrust, a push, unappealing to most. Soften these elements. Blend them into a simple, attractive, pleasant, and supportive background. Letrepparttar 134842 art work completerepparttar 134843 task of creating a memorable image ofrepparttar 134844 site.

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